Here’s How to Fix the Jets

When your beloved team loses 5 straight games through 6 weeks, it’s easy to lose perspective. We all knew this stretch of our schedule would be brutal but, going into the season, I really believed our team had a legitimate chance to compete for a wildcard spot. Under Rex, we’ve had some really tight battles with New England and beaten them with some less talented teams. In my eternal optimism, I began thinking that if we could steal this game in New England, it could spark a run and the season might not be lost. The schedule is obviously much better for the Jets from week 8 on. To try and gain some of this lost perspective and to try and understand just how unrealistic putting a run together might be, I looked at the statistics from the first 6 weeks of the season.

The good news is that the Jets are not that bad. On defense, we are 6th in the NFL in yards/game. We’re 9th against the run and (surprisingly) 15th against the pass. On offense, we are dismal in the passing game (32nd) but solid in running game (12th). Looking at these numbers, you’d think if we could just get the passing game going, we’d be okay. We’ve seen glimpses of it throughout the season (albeit way too brief) so there’s hope that if Geno can play how he played for much of the 1st half of the Packers game, we’d have a chance.

The bad news is that it’s not just about the passing game. In looking deeper into the numbers, I think the issue with our team is mental. It is easy to blame a lack of talent as the culprit for our record but I believe we have the necessary talent to win. I think our team needs to learn how to win. I say this issue is mental because the Jets were competitive in 4 of their 5 losses but couldn’t figure out how to win. The statistics bear this out. The Jets need to play better, on both sides of the ball, in critical situations. Here are three examples of such critical situations and how the Jets stack up to other teams around the league:

On 3rd down conversions, on both sides of the ball, the Jets rank poorly. On offense, the Jets rank 24th converting only 37.6% (Dallas is 1st in the league and converts 56.3%). On defense, the Jets rank 25th and allow conversions 46.7% of the time (Indianapolis is 1st allowing just 29.7%).

In the Red Zone, on both sides of the ball, the Jets rank poorly. On offense, the Jets rank 30th converting TD’s only 38.9% (Atlanta is 1st in the league and convert 75%). On defense, the Jets also rank 30th and allow TD conversions 72.2% of the time (Baltimore is 1st allowing just 35%).

Lastly, the Jets are 29th in the league in the giveaway/takeaway differential with -7 (there are two teams that are +9). The Jets rank 22nd in giveaways with 10 and rank 30th in takeaways with only 3. How many times this year have bad decisions contributed to the giveaway number? How many times on defense did a “sure” interception bounce off of one of our players?

So it all comes down to this:

The Jets need to do a better job in the passing game. This isn’t all on Geno. We need better blocking from the big fellas and separation from our receivers. And yes, we also need much better play from Geno too.

We need to get mentally tough. We need to play as well or better on 3rd down than in the previous two. We need to play as well or better on either edge of the football field as is played in between the 20’s. We need to take care of the football and we need to finish games.

Simple, right?

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3 Comments to “Here’s How to Fix the Jets”

  1. Obviously, they neglected to read this.

  2. Gotta change the heading to read “It’s what Todd would want!”

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